• Scott Hillman selected to coach CHL’s All-Star game

  • Brent Thiessen and the new Independence Hockey Organization didn’t have a name, a coach or a player.

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  • Brent Thiessen and the new Independence Hockey Organization didn’t have a name, a coach or a player.
    The president and general manager of the second-year Central Hockey League team looks back on the past year and simply shakes his head and says, “Have we come a long way in a year, or what?
    “It’s amazing – and I couldn’t be any prouder of our coach. You know, when we interviewed for coaches last year, Scott Hillman had the least experience of any of them. But something about him stood out.
    “We grilled him in the interview process, and he just kept coming back as the No. 1 candidate. He struggled at the beginning of last season, brought in player after player – until he found the guys who could get it done on the ice and in the community – and we made the playoffs.
    “This year, we’re fighting for the top spot in our conference and our coach is going to the All-Star Game – which is awesome.”
    Following Thursday night’s 2-0 victory over Quad City at the Independence Events Center, it was announced the Missouri Mavericks coach would represent the league in the Jan. 12, 2011 Central Hockey League All-Star Game in which the elite players in the league will take on defending league champion Rapid City.
    The coach with the top winning percentage in each conference will be on the bench with the CHL all-stars.
    “You know we don’t come here and think about personal honors or all-star games,” Thiessen said, “but to have our coach represent the CHL in all-star game is pretty remarkable.
    “Scott Hillman is a role model as a coach and a role model in the community. His players are role models in the community and we all know this is a collaborative effort. Scott would be the first person to tell you that.”
    Team captain Carlyle Lewis, who quietly guaranteed a win early Thursday morning, agrees.
    “We had to win this one for Hilly,” Lewis said. “When I said we were going to win earlier today I meant it - you could tell by talking to the guys that we were going to pull together, get this win and send Coach to the all-star bench. No one works harder than him and he deserves it.”

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